Are you a “Money is burning holes in my pocket” type of person? If you identify with this old saying, you’re not alone. The boom in globalization and global commerce have created so many avenues for us to spend our hard-earned cash, in the process burning through our savings as if there was no tomorrow. You only live once, right? Not really, or just not today. If you intend to buy a car or an apartment one day, you might think that such a plan requires years of austerity and frugal living. But that’s not necessarily true. By following these proven money-saving tips ‘n tricks, you’ll be able to save money effectively without downgrading your lifestyle.
Looking for discounts and special offers is one of the best ways to save money. This may seem obvious, but it isn’t all that straightforward. After all, discounts are a marketing trick designed to make you buy something you don’t need. But if you’re smart enough (and you are!) you can use it to your advantage.
If you’re looking for, say, a chocolate bar, don’t just buy the first one you see on the shelf. Instead, take a minute to survey all the other available offers and see if any of them are discounted. If they are, consider opting for a rival brand instead.
In other words, the trick is to first establish what you want and then look for discounts, not the other way around! Also, this isn’t something you can just do once. It has to become a part of your routine. In the end, you’ll be amazed by how much you can save by simply looking for discounts before you decide toss that item into your shopping cart.
BUY IN BULK
The more the merrier! Believe it or not, buying in bulk is a great way to save some cash. Sure you’re spending more in the short run, but in the long run, you’re spending much less.
First of all, most shops offer discounts if you buy in bulk. For example, instead of paying $2 for a single bottle of carbonated beverage, you can pay just $1.50 per bottle if you go for a six-pack. Now, if you know you’re gonna buy your favorite soda in the future anyway, why not just stockpile it right now and save some money in the process?
Of course, this doesn’t work for all products. You can’t stockpile meat, milk, cheese, and other perishable goods. But you can still do it for drinks, dry products, and all kinds of disposables. Toilet paper can’t go bad, can it?
But getting sweet discounts is not all. Buying in bulk also means fewer visits to the shop, which helps you save both time and gas. If you like convenience, this is something for you.
AVOID UNNECESSARY PURCHASES
How many times have you bought something and immediately regretted it afterwards? How many times have you bought something that you will never even use? If this sounds like you, keep reading!
We all make mistakes. After all, to err is human. But we can still do our best to minimize unnecessary purchases. First of all, don’t rush. If you see something you like and you feel like buying it, don’t just give in to that primal desire. Take a deep breath and ask yourself: “Do I really need this?”; “Will I really use this?” I guarantee this simple trick will have an immediate positive effect on your shopping habits.
During the COVID lockdowns, many sectors of the economy were forced to close down. For many, it was an opportunity to reassess their spending habits. For more positive consequences of the COVID pandemic, check out this article.
Now, my next suggestion is a bit more complicated. It’s about addictions. People usually focus on the psychological aspect of addictions (how they consume our entire lives). But that’s not the only reason addictions suck. They can also be really expensive. If you are addicted to, say, cigarettes, try recording how much you spend on them every week/month/year. Just imagine what other things you could do with all that money.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have nice things. You can! I’m just suggesting you be a bit more selective with what you consider “nice things.”
SET CLEAR GOALS
This next step requires very little sacrifice. Nevertheless, it’s effective. All you have to do is set very clear spending goals for yourself. For example, set a limit on how much you can spend on food per month. Or tell yourself something along the lines of: “I need to have at least $X in my account at all times.”
Of course, to be able to do the above, you must first know just how much you spend and on what. In other words, you have to track and record your spending. There are many ways to do that, but my favorite is to use apps like Mint. This way, you can track your spending with minimum effort and maximum convenience!
With clear goals in mind, your spending will become more controllable. What’s more, seeing exactly how much you spend on a daily/weekly/monthly basis will motivate you to cut your expenses more than anything else. Give it a try!
REVIEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS
Chances are you have at least one monthly subscription of some sort. It can be Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, The New York Times, etc. These can range from $2 a month to $14 a month (or more, for premium plans). Doesn’t seem like much, right? Wrong.
According to Forbes, an average American is subscribed to 3.4 streaming services. Many are subscribed to even more, and this doesn’t even include other types of subscriptions (all kinds of digital and non-digital services). All in all, you might be paying over $100 for subscriptions a month.
The worst thing about subscriptions is that they’re billed automatically. That means you barely even notice you’re paying for them!
But worry not. There is a simple way to cut your subscription spending: just review your subscriptions once in a while. See which ones you use and which ones you don’t. Or, for example, cancel your Netflix subscription when there are no interesting shows on and renew it when something new pops up. This way, you’ll only be paying when you actually use the service!